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Maintain a trade mark

Once you have filed your trade mark there are a number of things you must do to maintain your application or registration. 

You can make limited changes through our online case management facility. There are no charges for these services apart from trade mark renewals.

Change ownership

Under section 82(2) of the Trade Marks Act 2002 the owner or applicant of a trade mark may assign or transmit ownership of the mark.

You can only change the ownership of registered trade marks or current applications. Expired but restorable marks need to be renewed before a change of ownership can be recorded.

Submit requests to assign or transmit the ownership of a trade mark through our online case management facility. The Commissioner will accept any supporting documentation that contains all the details required by the regulations. If you need assistance, contact us during business hours.

Note that new owners must have a valid address for service in New Zealand, as this is a requirement under regulation 13 of the Trade Marks Regulations 2003.

Before you begin

Have your documentation ready:

  • A copy of the document of assignment or transmission or other documents acceptable to the Commissioner which provide proof of the assignee’s title to the trade mark, such as a deed of assignment, or a sale and purchase agreement. These documents must contain the signature of both parties to the transaction and the date on which the assignment or transmission took effect. If neither of these documents is supplied, a statement of case may be accepted. A statement of case should be prepared as a statutory declaration that the trade mark is owned by a proprietor who is different to the registered owner. See the sample documents:
  1. Log on as a registered user of the website. Find out more about becoming a registered user.
  2. Select Maintain a Trade Mark from the left hand menu of your Inbox. The Request Trade Mark Change page displays.
  3. Select cases(s) for Assignment from the Change Owner section to Search Trade Mark Case(s). Search for one or more trade marks that you want to change the ownership of, and then Select. The Request an Change of Ownership on trade mark(s) displays.
  4. Enter your Client Reference.
  5. Select whether you are acting as the new owner or if you are acting on behalf of the owner. If you are the owner, you’ll be listed as the new owner of the application. If you are acting on behalf of the owner, you’ll be listed as the agent. You then need to search for the owner of the mark and add them as the new owner.


If you are not going to stay as the agent, select remove. You will still be able to record the assignment; you just won’t be recorded as the new agent for the case.

If you’re making the assignment request as a third party, that is, you want to record a new owner and a new agent for the trade marks (other than yourself), you cannot make this request in one step. For these situations, lodge the assignment request against the trade marks being assigned, and then lodge a change of agent request, appointing the new agent (reference the assignment case number within your request to change the agent).

  1. Add your documentary evidence to support your request then Submit to complete your request.
  2. The Commissioner will, on proof of the person's title:
    • register the assignee as the owner of the trade mark registration in relation to the goods or services specified as being assigned or transmitted.
    • file the assignment, transmission or other document produced in evidence of title, or a copy of those documents for public record
    • on completing the assignment, send email confirmation that the assignment has taken place.

Partial assignments

If the assignment or transmission of the trade mark relates to only a portion of the goods and services being transferred to the assignee, these requests need to be lodged as a Division/Partial Change of Ownership. This allows the trade mark to be divided into two or more separate marks and for one or more of the marks to be assigned or transmitted to the new owner(s).

Change an address

When an address for service, business or residential address, or a communication address has changed, a notice of change of address must be filed with the Commissioner of patents, trade marks and designs. All national trade marks must have an address for service in New Zealand. To change an address:

  1. Log on as a registered user of the website. Find out more about becoming a registered user.
  2. Select Maintain Client from the User menu of your Inbox. The Search Client page displays.
  3. Search for your client record and select Edit to modify. You can add or remove addresses.
  4. Submit to complete your changes.

Change a name

You can make a request online to alter a name on the trade mark register. There is no charge for this service. Note that you must provide supporting documentation confirming the name change, for example, a certificate from the Registrar of Companies. To change a name:

  1. Log on as a registered user of the website. See becoming a registered user.
  2. Select Maintain Client from the User menu of your Inbox. The Search IPONZ Client Database page displays.
  3. Search for your client record. If you are a New Zealand company enter your name in the Search Company field. For other client types, modify your name.
  4. Select Add in the Document section to upload your supporting documentation.
  5. Submit to complete your request.

Request an amendment, change goods or services, or division of application

After you have applied for a trade mark and before your mark is registered, you may request to make limited amendments to a trade mark application in response to an examination report, change goods and services specifications, or divide your trade mark application. You are also able to re-order your images by clicking on the representation and dragging it to a new position.

  1. Log on as a registered user of the website. See becoming a registered user.
  2. Select Maintain a Trade Mark from the left hand menu of your Inbox. The Request Trade Mark Change page displays.
  3. Select Amendment, Change Goods and Services Specifications or Division. The Search Trade Mark Case screen displays.
  4. Search for the trade mark that you want to amend and then Select.
  5. Enter your Client Reference and make the changes following the onscreen help.
  6. Submit.
  7. The Request Trade Mark Change screen displays and a confirmation Info box appears. Click OK to close the box.
  8. If this application has an outstanding task – respond to compliance report, you will be prompted to confirm if this change will overcome all outstanding objections. If you confirm this, the task will be automatically completed and will be sent back to us for further examination.

Change an agent

You can make a request for an agent to be assigned to, or changed for, a trade mark. There is no charge for this service.

Note – you must provide supporting documentation confirming the agent is authorised to act, for example, a document signed by the applicant or owner stating you have authority. See our practice guideline for more information: Agents

If you are changing or adding an agent to an international registration select Maintain an International Registration Designating NZ (NZD) click Change Agent and follow the instructions from step 3 below.

  1. You will need to be logged on as a registered user of the website.
  2. Select Maintain a Trade Mark from the left hand menu of your Inbox. The Request Trade Mark Change page will display.
  3. Click Select cases for Change Agent from the Change Agent section to Search Trade Mark Case(s). You can search for one or more trade marks. Once you have identified the correct cases tick the check box for each case. Then click the Select button.
  4. Enter your Client Reference.
  5. Select whether you are the new agent or an additional agent then search for your agent details.
    Note - if the new agent is not the same for each case, select each case to modify it individually.
  6. Select the Add button in the Documentary Evidence section to upload your Agent Authorisation documentation. See our sample form to help you with this: Agent Authority [174 KB PDF].
  7. Select Submit to complete your request.

Removing an agent:

If you are already the agent for an IP case you will be given the additional option to remove yourself as the agent.

Request to merge a trade mark

You can apply to merge two or more trade mark applications or registrations into one.

1. Examination

The Commissioner examines all requests to merge separate trade mark applications or registrations to make sure they:

  • are for the same mark or series of marks
  • have the same filing date and convention priority date (if any)
  • have the same status, for example, accepted for registration or registered
  • are in the name of the same applicant or owner
  • are classified according to the same edition of the Nice Classification.

For more information about these requirements, see Practice guideline 18: Merger.

2. Reflection in the register

You can view the details of successfully merged applications or registrations through the online register.

Merged marks take on the lowest trade mark number. Any changes to the application or registration are reflected in the details of that trade mark. The details of the other trade marks are viewable as a historic record; however, the status of those marks or applications is noted as Merged. The application or registration numbers also appear in the Related Trade Marks field of all marks.

3. Rejection

If the details of an application for merger are not in order, you’ll be sent a Notice of Rejection of Merger, stating the grounds on which the Commissioner rejects the application to merge the trade marks.

To request to merge trade marks:

  1. Log on as a registered user of the website. Find out more about becoming a registered user.
  2. Select Maintain a Trade Mark from the left hand menu of your Inbox. The Request Trade Mark Change page displays.
  3. Select cases(s) for Merge. The Search Trade Mark Case screen displays.
  4. Search for the trade marks that you wish to merge, and then Select the correct cases.
  5. Enter your Client Reference and make the changes following the onscreen help.
  6. Submit.
  7. The Request Trade Mark Change screen displays and a confirmation Info box appears. Click OK to close the box.

Withdraw an application

You can request to withdraw your application for a trade mark. Note that once a mark is withdrawn, it is not possible to reinstate the mark’s previous status. All rights attached to the mark, granted through the application, will be immediately relinquished.

There is no charge for this service.

To withdraw an application:

  1. Log on as a registered user of the website. Find out more about becoming a registered user.
  2. Select Maintain a Trade Mark from the left hand menu of your Inbox. The Request Trade Mark Change page displays.
  3. Select cases(s) for Withdrawal from the Withdrawal section to Search Trade Mark Case(s). Search for one or more Trade Marks that you want to withdraw, and then Select correct cases.
  4. Check the Confirm withdrawal of trade mark(s).
  5. Submit.
  6. You will return to the Request Trade Mark Change page and a confirmation Info box will display. Select OK to close the box.

    Request abeyance

    You can place your application in abeyance or suspension pending the outcome of opposition proceedings for a prior application or cancellation/revocation/invalidity proceedings to do with a prior registration. To do this, you must notify the Commissioner before the expiry of the deadline set in the compliance report. After the facts are verified, the Commissioner places the application in abeyance pending the outcome of the proceedings. To request abeyance of an application:

    1. Log on as a registered user of the website. Find out more about becoming a registered user.
    2. Select Maintain a Trade Mark from the left hand menu of your Inbox. The Request Trade Mark Change page displays.
    3. Select Abeyance.
    4. Search for the application to be placed into abeyance, and then Select the correct case. The Request Abeyance on a Trade Mark screen displays.
    5. Enter your Client Reference.
    6. Select Search to find the application(s) that are under-proceedings and which have bearing on your application. Choose the results and Select. The Request Abeyance screen displays.
    7. You can upload a document or add a file note to support your request, and then Select.
    8. The Request Trade Mark Change screen displays and a confirmation Info box appears. Click OK to close the box.

    Continued processing

    You may apply for continued processing on an abandoned application within two months of the trade mark going abandoned. In order for the application to be restored to examination status, you must upload a response in the request which relates to all outstanding objections raised in relation your application for consideration. A continued processing request can only be successfully processed once per application. To request continued processing:

    1. Log on as a registered user of the website. Find out more about becoming a registered user.
    2. Select Maintain a Trade Mark from the left hand menu of your Inbox. The Request Trade Mark Change page displays.
    3. Select Continued Processing. The Search Trade Mark Case screen displays.
    4. Search for the trade mark that you wish to amend, and then Select the correct case.
    5. Enter your Client Reference and make the changes following the onscreen help.
    6. Select Add in the Documentary Evidence section to upload your compliance report response. Note that this response must include a response in relation to all the substantive objections set out in the previous compliance report(s).
    7. Submit to complete your request.

    Cancel a registered trade mark

    After your trade mark is registered, you can request to cancel its registration at any time. Note that once a mark is cancelled, it is not possible to reinstate the mark’s previous status. All rights attached to the mark will be immediately relinquished.

    There is no charge for this service.

    To cancel a registered trade mark:

    1. Log on as a registered user of the website. Find out more about becoming a registered user.

    2. Select Maintain a Trade Mark from the left hand menu of your Inbox. The Request Trade Mark Change page displays.

    3. Select Cancellation. The Request a Cancellation of Trade Mark screen displays.

    4. Select case(s) for Cancellation from the Cancellation section. Search for one or more Trade Marks that you want to cancel, and then Select the correct cases.

    5. Check Confirm cancellation of trade mark(s).

    6. Submit.

    7. The Request Trade Mark Change screen displays and a confirmation Info box appears. Click OK to close the box.

    Alter a registered trade mark

    After your trade mark is registered, you can request to make limited amendments to remove classes and descriptions of goods or services; enter, remove or alter a memorandum, and alter regulations for a certification mark, or correct an error or omission in the register. To request an alteration or rectification:

    1. Log on as a registered user of the website. Find out more about becoming a registered user.
    2. Select Maintain a Trade Mark from the left hand menu of your Inbox. The Request Trade Mark Change page displays.
    3. Select Alteration/Rectification. The Search Trade Mark Case screen displays.
    4. Search for the trade mark that you want to amend, and then Select the correct case.
    5. Enter your Client Reference and make the changes following the onscreen help.
    6. Submit.
    7. The Request Trade Mark Change screen displays and a confirmation Info box appears. Click OK to close the box.

    Has your trade mark expired? See renew or restore a trade mark.